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Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
Excellent! It's definitely worth it even if you only play G-Darius - it's a fantastic port and definitely the best one the game has ever had in terms of accuracy!

On that note, it's serving as a reminder that the PS2 port (based on the PS1 port) maybe wasn't so ridiculously overclocked - the arcade version matches it for speed most of the time, slowing down mainly when it wants to load something. The speed of the game seems to have no relation how much stuff is being thrown around the screen, so you'll sometimes find yourself catapulted right out of some comfortable slowdown and into a hail of bullets, four waves of enemies and a miniboss. It's exhilaraing but taking some serious re-routing, hehe.
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
I think SLG have pushed their dates back a bit, BTW - "late 2021" at the moment. I still haven't heard about US/euro digital releases either, but the first collection (now split into two) didn't get a digital release here until after SLG had got around to shipping their physical copies, so maybe that'll happen again.
According to their manufacturing updates page, which got updated Wednesday, they are going for April/May. However, that could be for ones ordered already...
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
Yeah, I'm getting muddled up - late 2021 referred to M2's update! SLG do usually try to have everything on the cart/disc, so they could wait for ver.2 to be finished before starting production, but it'd add a few months' delay on top of the current one, and they already have their little exclusive sales hooks...
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
Ah gotcha, no worries! Vaeran and I have both been patiently waiting haha.

SLG did tweet the news, but I didn't see any delays mentioned, so we'll have to see I guess.
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
The RTF2 demo is out on the PS4 and Switch eshops in Japan. I think it looks really promising. The first stage effortlessly captures the tone of RTF1 while leaving behind most of the dead air and focusing a little more on environmental hazards, etc. I'm hopeful that some of the people who hated the first one (not me!) will be won over by it.


Apparently new ships are manufactured by the player after accruing certain materials, which could alleviate some of the tedium of unlocking the cooler ones.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I also came to post this! I downloaded it on Switch, but haven't played yet (I'm still on the clock). Really excited, though.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I'm super excited. I'm going to try to play through each of the mainline R-Type games leading up to this. Credit feeding, of course, because I don't think I have the patience to learn to 1CC in a month. I just finished 1 -- back in the day (and by the day, I mean during high school the early 00s) stage 7 was always a huge sticking point for me, but I figured it out in 3 credits this time. I spent longer getting through the Dop Rush in stage 6 this time. And the final stage didn't even take a whole credit. I guess I'm better than I was back then?

On to R-Type 2, I guess. If there's a game in the series that is going to kill this effort, it's probably 2...
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
i finished the stage on normal with ship 1, which feels like the easiest for the stage overall (second one feels hardest). trying with the other ships, but i keep getting killed by the boss on the higher difficulty available. it's a lot harder if you die and lose the red shot...

feels a bit slower than i'd like on the whole, particularly due to the restart time after you die and such, but it feels pretty solid and engaging, with a nice degree of trickery and variety on the stage while being pretty clear and nice.
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)

Last year's April Fools is now a real game! Hamster and Platinum are collaborating on this under a new line, "Neo Classic Arcade" series, which I can only hope leads to more projects like this one!
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I'm all for legitimately announcing shoot 'em ups on April 1, lmao. I hope this becomes a thing.

I downloaded the R-Type Final 2 demo and have been looking around in it.

Stray thoughts:
  • The starting craft and their descriptions appear to be pretty much the same as R-Type Final.
  • R's Museum is more somber and peaceful than chill and jazzy like it was in Final. But I love the new ship models. Especially now that you can rotate the view all the way around. I kind of hope they manage to get all 101+ of them in eventually.
  • The missile weapons are mostly the same, but there are two brand new "Balmung" options. In R-Type Tactics, the R-9B Strider line was turned into a force-less series of bombers that carried "Balmung" nuclear warheads. It ended up turning a pretty forgettable ship from Final into one of the more powerful units in the game. I'm really curious to see how the Balmung is implemented in this, because the secondary missiles are usually, well, secondary weapons.
  • There don't appear to be any new bits. Judging from them, though, it's reasonable to assume that the OF-series ships from Image Fight are returning, as are the two R-9Leo ships and... Mr. Heli!
  • The in-cockpit opening is cool. Kind of makes me want to see a VR-Type game.
  • The gauper/dogra infected transport in the first stage is a Jormungandr class from R-Type Tactics. You also appear to launch from one at the beginning of the game.
  • The frozen Dobkeratops is kind of disappointing as a boss. I wonder if we'll be able to thaw him with R-9Sk Pricipalities or Dominions?
  • The "story" is that this is a post-Final "war history and archive" project. The R Manual details some stuff about this, but I'm not to clear on what it means.
    • The "stage-remake" stretch goals make sense in this light.
  • The upgrade materials used for unlocking new ships are Solonium, Etherium, and Bydogen, which are the same upgrade materials from R-Type Tactics. As I recall, they're actually generic names for elements harvested from our dimension, interdimensional space, and the bydo dimension, respectively.
    • I'm curious how this system is going to turn out. I guess it depends on how high the material cost is for the later ships. The demo gives you enough resources after just one stage to unlock the early ships (though they're not actually in the demo). In any case, it will probably be less tedious than the "spend 15-120 minutes in ship X to unlock ship Y" system from Final.
  • The first stage is more exciting but probably less visually interesting than Metropolis Quietus was in Final. The trailer played post-demo shows off some cool setpieces that I'm very excited to see, however.
  • The music is pretty in line with Final 1. It's still hard to believe that this is Yuki Iwai, given the rest of her work. It works, though part of me wishes for a soundtrack more like something from the first 4 games.
  • Performance on the Switch is kind of mediocre.
 
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Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I downloaded the PS4 version and the performance is noticeably better than the Switch version.

Also, I didn't notice this before, but there are 3 additional ships available for development in the R's Museum using the resources gathered in the demo stage: Delta, Morning Star, and Midnight Eye. Nothing terribly exciting.

I also noticed that the ship count in the museum is out of 99... I remember Granzella saying they didn't intend to include all 101 ships from Final, but depending on how many new ships their are and whether any of them are hidden, they may have actually gone all the way.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I downloaded the PS4 version and the performance is noticeably better than the Switch version.

Oh, I like that. I'll have to grab it.

I played it last night, I like it, but I did take a death because of that awesome thing 2.5D games (and some sprite-based ones, too, I guess, but I find it more common with 2.5D where objects aren't as clearly drawn) where I thought a thing was in the background and NOPE, sure wasn't.

But it's dope.

And, yeah, looking forward to Sol Cresta, even if I don't love that series as much as some do.
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
I couldn't find it on the console but the demo is out in Europe, too.


(Click 'download from library' after adding it and it should appear in your PS4's library.)
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
On to R-Type 2, I guess. If there's a game in the series that is going to kill this effort, it's probably 2...

R-Type 2 was a lot easier than I remember, too. I finished it last night. I had some trouble with the 3rd boss, the entirety of stage 5, and the second final checkpoint, but it overall went by pretty quickly.

I then played through III this afternoon, using the Shadow Force. III was my very first R-Type game and I generally regard it as my favorite, though playing them all so close together I actually think the first two have more interesting design. I felt like I had to be more creative when solving tricky checkpoints in 1 and 2, while III gives you the same kit for half of them (a Lv 1 Force and a speedup).

I'm kind of baffled that the foundry level (stage 4) won R-Type III stage remake poll for Final 2. It's has notoriety, I guess, but the actual level is one of the most obnoxious in the series. A lot of situations in the games can be solved with quick thinking, but this one just kind of fucks you over until you memorize all of the safe spots. Granzella has said that "one of the top scoring" stages will be translated to Final 2, so I kind of hope they go with the Catapult Dimension (stage 1) or the Galaxy of Abyss (final stage) instead...

Next up is R-Type Delta. Unfortunately, I don't actually own the disc and the PS3 store is being really flaky right now so I haven't been able to download it. I think I have it installed on my PSP or Vita right now, but I hate playing shmups on handhelds. Alas. Might have to wait. Maybe I'll detour over to Leo until the PSN issues are resolved.
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
Next up is R-Type Delta. Unfortunately, I don't actually own the disc and the PS3 store is being really flaky right now so I haven't been able to download it. I think I have it installed on my PSP or Vita right now, but I hate playing shmups on handhelds. Alas. Might have to wait. Maybe I'll detour over to Leo until the PSN issues are resolved.
From what I saw last night, Irem pulled all the R-Type games off of PSN at some point. Hopefully you can still DL it...
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I've always loved shmups, even if my ability to play them depends on having an ASCIIpad to simulate slo-mo and playing on Easy or Normal modes. I fell in love with 1987 R-Type even when I was still so young my dad had to take me to the arcade. Super R-Type was my second SNES game and I played it (or tried to) much more often than I did Mario or Zelda. Super EDF was my favorite rental to the point my dad just bought it for me. Axelay, well, Axelay is my greatest love. But despite all this, I've always fully sucked at shmups and the only one I've ever finished without cheats is Macross Scrambled Valkyrie. Even when R-Type III came out, and I loved it to bits, I had to wait until I came across the emulator and save states to even SEE the last stage. Heck, I bought Final just out of sheer love for the franchise and still haven't gotten past the third stage.

So when I watched The Final History of R-Type earlier today, I learned two things:


One: Dimensions had been re-released on PS4 and Switch with an infinite credits mode. I literally paused the video right then and there to rush to my Switch and buy it. I've never done that for any other franchise!

Second: a ROM hacker has fixed Super R-Type's disastrous slowdown and the game can now be played at full speed. It was already a brutal game WITH slowdown, so when the documentary showed off what it looks like at around 16:30, I just started laughing hysterically at how I wouldn't last even a second, but I'm already downloading the ROM anyway. :D

So yeah, I'ma get Final 2 and then subscribe to whoever does a longplay so I can actually see more than the "your ship gets hit with a bullet you never saw and explodes" ending :p

(Now I wish someone bought the Axelay trademark off of Konami and made good on that Axelay 2 promise...)
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
From what I saw last night, Irem pulled all the R-Type games off of PSN at some point. Hopefully you can still DL it...

Yeah, you can't purchase Delta any more, but it's still available to download. Related: I'm kicking myself for not purchasing R-Types when it was available. At least I own the disc for that one, I guess.

Not going to subject yourself to Super R-Type?

I actually fired it up yesterday! I slipped up and the first boss killed me. When I respawned at the beginning of the pretty dull first stage, I decided I didn't feel like trying to power through it, lol.

I'm interested in trying the SA-1 hack someday, but the lack of midstage checkpoints is a killer. Not sure what they were thinking. It's kind of sad, because some of the remixed stages are pretty cool. I think the recycling facility is a lot more visually interesting than the base-under-construction from II. And the music is pretty good.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Second: a ROM hacker has fixed Super R-Type's disastrous slowdown and the game can now be played at full speed. It was already a brutal game WITH slowdown, so when the documentary showed off what it looks like at around 16:30, I just started laughing hysterically at how I wouldn't last even a second, but I'm already downloading the ROM anyway. :D

Vitor's stuff is great. Hit Gradius III SA-1 hack is also cool, but makes the game way harder. I done did a video. His FastROM patch for Castlevania IV is also pretty good.

@Regulus Yeah, that's the thing about Super. Those checkpoints are REAL DUMB.
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
This video contains possibly the first instance of Border Down's rank being correctly summed up in English. (The consensus among English-speaking sources is always that "bordering down" to Red and starting on Red produce the same rank, which isn't nearly true.)

While the SA-1 patched versions of SFC games are incredibly impressive "what-ifs", I don't really look on them as "fixes" or in any way the definitive versions of these games, tbh. Super R-Type plays beautifully as it is (non-existent checkpointing is a fair-enough complaint, but the performance generally doesn't cause any problems), and Gradius III's major issue is less that it's plagued with constant slowdown and more that the slowdown is to a large extent tied to your own lasers, meaning it will suddenly snap off and catapult enemies and bullets toward you at 100mph if you aren't firing. I rarely feel comfortable suggesting "fixes" at all, but if I were to attempt to make the game more palatable to most players, I'd probably start by making the slowdown consistent and predictable rather than scrapping it altogether. The PS2 Gradius III & IV collection allows you to choose between three or four different "wait" levels (i.e. slowdown speeds) in the arcade version, which could be a really helpful feature to back-port, too.
 
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Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
It's not me, but I do know ohfivepro from the Calice Cup tournament! He will probably know a lot more about BD's systems than me - after the third stage I have enough on my plate just surviving. :p
 
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Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
Limited Run are doing both standard and LE physical releases of M2's Dangun Feveron port. I want to swear off buying limited-release junk forever but this would be genuinely handy to have. Happy the game's finally going to have a 'western' presence of some sort, anyway!
 
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Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I finally got my PS3 downloads working and have been making my way through Delta. Like I remember, it's pretty stellar. Stage 4 is a real standout. I especially love how the ascent is synced to the music.

Looking forward to unlocking Freeplay, though, because Stage 5 ('Evil') has been kicking my ass. I can generally 1-or-2CC up to it, then I rapidly lose all my credits. I think the lack of level geometry is making it harder for me to figure out where the safe spots are...
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I finished Delta with the R-9(A2 Delta). Total play time was about 8.5 hours. The first three hours mostly consisted of me throwing my lives away against the second checkpoint in Level 5, while the next three hours were mostly me throwing my lives away at the first checkpoint in level 6, lol.

It's a really impressive game. The soundtrack is probably the best in the series and the atmosphere is amazing, particularly for a PSX game. The level design is really inventive and also some of the best in the series, though I do feel like laser crystal choice doesn't matter very often (I found myself relying on the anti-air laser and ignoring the other pickups most of the time). They supposedly balanced the game entirely around the R9, then balanced the other two ships around the stages themselves, but it doesn't feel quite as tightly considered as the first two games did. Still, pretty stellar all around. I'll have to go back and try other other ships some time.

I did feel a couple of checkpoints in the second half were frustratingly brutal. The main sticking points were the "transport system" debris section in Stage 5 (Evil) and the Nozari cruiser section in Stage 6 (Awakening). I thought they both demanded a little too much foreknowledge. Neither really give you any significant tools to apply to the situation, either, so they felt really restrictive.


On to R-Type Final. Oh Human difficulty, at least, it already feels a little easier than Delta, though I remember 6.0 Floating Graves being pretty rough so I suppose we'll see. I like that you can switch ships between stages if you want. I can't imagine this is going to take me too long to beat, though since we're still a few weeks out from Final 2, I'll probably spend some time unlocking the ships again. I'm playing via PCSX2, so I don't have access to my original file.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Each hour of the game actively being played grants one additional credit to the total, until the point you unlock just total free play.
 
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